Student Honors and Awards

Each Spring the Department takes time to acknowledge student academic excellence. All Majors and Minors with a 3.0 GPA or higher are recognized, and the students with the highest GPAs are specifically honored.

The Christopher M. Caldwell Award for the Most Promising Philosophy Student

Christopher M. Caldwell was the Chair of the History and Philosophy Department from 2014 to 2016. He was a philosopher who graduated with honors, specializing in the area of Ethics. Dr. Caldwell was an immensely popular teacher who lived his life according to the moral principles about which he taught and published.

The Danny Starr Townes Award for the Outstanding Freshman

Danny Starr Townes taught in the History Department longer than any other woman faculty member. Her specialty was World Civilization. She was known for her devotion to students.

The James Hugo Johnston, Jr. Award for the Outstanding Sophomore

James Hugo Johnston, Jr. served as Chairperson of the Department of History and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Science. His specialty was African-American History in Virginia.

The Edgar Toppin Award for the Outstanding Junior

Edgar Toppin served Virginia State University for nearly four decades as a teacher, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Provost of the University. Dr. Toppin was one of the leading scholars in the field of African-American History.

The Luther P. Jackson Award for the Outstanding Senior

Luther Porter Jackson served as Chairperson of the Department of History for more than 25 years. Besides being a leading scholar in the field of African-American History, Dr. Jackson was a guiding force in the struggle for Black voter registration in Virginia.

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ) is the American National Honors Society for undergraduate and graduate students of history. Every Spring Semester we induct and honor new members who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This is a lifetime membership that includes a one-time fee.

Students also receive Phi Alpha Theta Honor Sash at commencement. If students have questions or concerns regarding our Phi Alpha Theta Chapter, please contact our department administrator.

For the national Phi Alpha Theta office, contact University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave., Soc 107, Tampa, FL 33620; Phone: (800) 394-8195; (813) 974-8212; Fax: (813) 974-8215;; .